Thursday, January 13, 2011

some snaps from the recent trip south... and also today!

entering a little bit of paradise... my friend's place at Byron Bay

is this not the most perfect daybed... summer .... winter?

I'll be back!

I had two very wet but delightful days in Byron with friends ... then tootled south to Grafton on the Clarence river, stopping briefly in Yamba, a beach I used to love spending time at. A visit to the Gallery there was most rewarding with a large show by artist g w bot:

Current Exhibitions - 15 December - 23 January

G W Bot -  Resurrection Glyphs – Midday  2009

g w bot: the long paddock a 30 year study

Curated by Peter Haynes this exhibition showcases the artists rich and diverse practice and includes prints, paintings, artist’s books and sculpture and is a ‘must see’ exhibition for artists, students, printmakers and art collectors as well as the general public interested in art. This exhibition is supported by Visions of Australia, an Australian Government program supporting touring exhibitions by providing funding assistance for the development and touring of Australian cultural material across Australia. A Goulburn Regional Art Gallery Touring Exhibition.

J T Pearson - 099 Black Bream

port of yamba historical society: jt pearson's marine watercolours

A suitcase found under a bed in the Pacific Hotel Yamba and given to the Story House Museum in Yamba revealed a life’s work of highly detailed watercolours of marine life by J T Pearson.


Loved these!

from an exhibit at the Grafton Regional Gallery - note where these were found -
in a suitcase - under a bed?...Yamba was my absolute fav childhood beach!

Sea Perch

Visiting Upper Copmanhurst meant a half hour drive through familiar country to arrive at the farm and see this amazing colour green everywhere ...this county can get a bit dry looking from memory ...but far from it this time round!

Whilst in Grafton I visited a cousin who lives 30 mins north  west of the town which is incidently under water at the moment. There was a lot of low-lying water on Sunday when I was there... Loved these views from their verandah!

crops are planted between this stream ( which is only there when its quite wet!) and the far line of trees before the hills.

after our visit the rain fell heavily for a couple of days...

leading to this

and this! The crops are under in parts and it will be a few days before damage is clear.

And then back home...

... today I took my new bike out for a ride ... at last ...  the sun decided to shine again. I rode to the river which was not yet spilling over its banks at Racecourse Rd. 
There was an exceedingly eerie atmosphere in the city today...some of course considerably anxious due to personal circumstances ... waiting, watching ... for the river to rise and break its banks, wreak havoc and then the reckoning that comes with that and the clean up. Its strange to comprehend! People were either fully engaged in preparations to protect property, or evacuating ...or if like me where its quite safe ... then trying to burn up nervous energy somehow, not feeling terribly useful ... feeling to unsettled to do very much of value at all!

my belated christmas present to myself

The river had  to rise perhaps 1.5m  to rise to break its banks here...
unlike upriver which had been flooding suburbs along the way.
You can see the city buildings in the distance in the centre of this image.

A catamaran that had lost its moorings was being swept along in the very fast current ... with a heavy-looking pontoon coming up its rear. the river was chaotic... so much stuff coming downstream... it had drawn quite a crowd this morning!

Thank you to people who have left kind messages of concern and good wishes.  Its quite humbling... I'm safe so it feels a little embarrasing to be receiving such care when others are dealing with  devastation and loss... we're hoping that people have made their way to safety by the time the river is said to peak at 4am. Its going to be a terrifying night for some. Im still thinking of friends I need to email to see how they are going.
However ... the warmth of connection from so many is treasured reminds one that the world can be a most a hospitable and caring place!
S x


dosfishes said...

The news here is finally full of stories and photos. My heart goes out to all who are lost and families who are waiting to hear from loved ones. The raging waters hold no mercy. We hope you and all your countrymen can come through this and rally. Hope the food supplies can be spared and the flooding subsides soon.
xox Corrine

le bord doré des nuages said...

Bon courage ma chère Sophie,nous aussi nous avons eu de grandes tempêtes l'hivers dernier, l'eau de mer était passée par dessus les digues, inondant tous les champs des agriculteurs et dévastant toutes leurs cabanes acquacoles,puis tout est redevenu normal au bout de quelques mois...pour l'.instant tout va bien chez nous...mais l'hivers n'est pas encore passé.
J'aime beaucoup la maison de ton ami ou il semble faire si chaud...cela donne envie de partir là bas en vacances, je t'embrasse fort, béatrice

Anonymous said...

Nice photos. The trip looks like it was wonderful Summer? How nice. It is really cold here. I am so glad that you are safe for now. That ever rising water can be nerve racking!

Anonymous said...

Merci Corrine!
Some very difficult stories coming through.
Much relief here this morning that the river peaked under predictions. Still so many profoundly effected but its a blessing it was less than thought!
Thankyou for your message of support.

Thank you Beatrice,
I can just get a sense of your words... pardon my ignorance... im so pleased you write in french makes me wonder at the language, the sensibility of the words and the meanings being conveyed...!
Thank you for your well wishes and concern,

A clever little photographic illusion Mary,
...those top photos suggest balmy days and the great beach holiday...if only! I think many holidayers this year have been wracked with dilemmas ...its been exceedingly cool, wet and filled with bad news stories... anyone whose accomodation was makeshift - caravans, tents, poky little cabins or in low-lying areas subject to flooding... would have had basic to quite severe reasons to pack up and go home much of the last month...I saw the sun for the first time in a month yesterday.
Tourism took a big nosedive because home was more attractive or even a critical necessity... so the one thing we have not experienced here is summer... and living on the latitude we do.... that is astonishing!
It was the edgiest few days of a trip I can recall in a long time...basically taken up with wondering if the roads would be flooded and I should simply stay home/head home!
Keep warm!
S xo

Elaine said...

Your photos are amazing, Sophie. I am so happy that you are safe and you were able to go out in the sunshine and enjoy your new bike. It's a great bike! :)

La Dolce Vita said...

darling new bike! and wonderful day bed...
take good care of yourself Sophie... just terrible destruction, hoping it moves out soon. xox

The Artist Within Us said...

Dear Sophie,

The last two days we have seen images from Australia that worry us. Apart you my friend, we have close relatives on my wife's side living in your country.

It is very hard to imagine a flood, an inland tsunami being the size of France and Germany.

It is good to know that you are safe and well. Your images of the day bed area are so inviting, even being there when it rains. Your bike is precious and all you now need is a dual saddlebag in which you can carry your art supplies, as well as your groceries or items for a picnic.

Thank you for your perspective of the rising waters covering the land. It gives us a unique perspective not available her on any US news program.

Wishing you all the very best,

PS: My word verification is 'comets'

Lucy said...

Just watching it all unfold has been so heart-breaking. I heard the bloke (wish I could recall people's actual names...) who's the director of both the Gallery of Qld and GOMA talking about saving artworks today - was so glad. BUT, yesterday I saw the Botanic Gardens completely underwater...and thought of you and all the lovely places I've been to in Brissy, and how sad I am for the people of the Lockyer Valley.

Stay dry, enjoy that bike, and Happy New Year while I'm at it!


Anonymous said...

good to hear from you... not much getting out and about with the rain... much needed stretch to the legs i can tell you!
Cute bike ha? Its was the cheapest one in the store after xmas... 20% off... it had my name written on it. (no gears either) this is life in the slow lane... no mountain biking or tour de france for me any day soon!

the waiting is over now... or its shifted to watching the river go down - the shock is sinking in for the ones most affected.
The bike is fun and a plus for transport and exercise... I plan to ride to the river and catch the rivercat to the city and visit the cultural precinct when things are back to normal! coold daybed indeed!
Thanks for popping in Cat,
S xo

lovely to hear from you again... hope you had a lovely festive time at your place!
Its a huge area indeed and spreading interstate now... the tsunami-type situation took place in the area directly west of Brisbane on the range...the flash flooding in a large regional city unfortunately then headed down the mountain ... hence the shocking accumulative effect of a wall of water and gravity after massive rainfall that just built and built!
It can be very hard to glean how it is from news broadcasts which give you images that can distort the on the ground reality. In this case ...the area affected is colossal... thats not fabrication nor is the emergency situation that many have been subject to.
I know people overseas are shocked to realise how small is our population for the land mass effected. And yet the population is small for the very reason of some of this scenarios we're seeing. Isolation can be major...towns and properties can be cut off for some time... and people keep choosing the coast ad the cities.
The day bed calls... when can I go back there?
best to you,
ps love those word verifications!!!

Hi Lucy,
I missed the gallery director... but I was pretty concerned... two of the 3 cultural buildings on the river are very recently built so I kept thinking/hoping flood strategies would have featured high on the architect's list of priorities. One reason they built the new Botanic Gardens away from the river at Mt Coot-tha was the flooding that would periodically devastate the gardens over the history of the grounds.
Lovely to read your words and yes... hearts go to those at the Lockyer Valley....
Will enjoy the wind in my hair on my new little bike...and thanks for the new year greetings...
best to you too!
S xo

r.bohnenkamp said...

Hi Sophie,
that's terrible with the tide in Australia.
But it's good to see that you're doing well.
I also hope all your dear friends and family doing well?
The photos of the trip (with the day bed, it`s wunderful!) and great about your new bicycle
hope that you can make the best of everything.
I think of you and wish you all the best.

r.bohnenkamp said...

Hi Sophie,
that's terrible with the tide in Australia.
But it's good to see that you're doing well.
I also hope all your dear friends and family doing well?
The photos of the trip (with the day bed) and great about your new bicycle
hope that you can make the best of everything.
I think of you and wish you all the best.

Anonymous said...

Hi Ralf,
thank you so much for finding such excellent words (in English - not easy for you I know...I cant read or speak I appreciate this!)) to see how we are doing!
Im not yet sure about quite a few friends who live around the hardest hit areas... family is good and safe.... we are very used to floods from the past and have huge respect for the destructive power of water...and the wake its leaves on communities.

It will be a huge state-wide rebuilding from personal and domestic to community and large infrastructure.
Some sectors will need more workers other will probably lay off workers... i think sadly much instability which we might not yet have seen those not immediately affected are likely to be before this time is through.
We wont even think about rain predicted to still come for another month or two.
Everyday of sunshine at the moment is so critical and we are grateful for that.
Your warm wishes and care are very appreciated Ralf.
ps great reading place hey...and bike is fun!